Demons don’t get under my skin the way wood ticks do. One of the few Americanisms my mother picked up on was sending me off to the land of sweet dreams with “Good night! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” I think it might have had something to do with having more than one experience with lice when she was a child. My bedroom has always been neat and orderly to the point of being borderline sterile – any insect infestations would have resulted in a full tactical cleaning product response from mother and my aunties. Fastidious cleanliness is a family tradition.

The omnipresent filth and sloth in Kaidan don’t bother me physically. I have no control over those things, so I let them go mentally. Their unsightliness stands in stark contrast to the parts of the city that remain untouched – they give the appearance of effortless perfection. Shibumi is what it’s called, or so I’m told. I’m in love.


Beneath the spreading sakura tree
Ai shiteru and yugami

That’s about the only love I’m going to find here. Between traumatically scarred refugees and salarymen going about their dreamy day I don’t think there’s much of a selection. I know, I’m painting things with brushstrokes much too rough for the fine canvas of this place. My heart’s already made up its mind, though. It’s back in Egypt just outside the entrance to Agartha. Not an unrequited love, but one that is outside the realm of possibility.

So, I’ll devote my love to the perfect imperfections I’ve found here.



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